Feel Like Binging? This Might Be to Blame

March 19, 2013 | By | Add a Comment

The often overlooked culprit that causes cravings…

Ever wake up with that irresistible urge to pig out? And I’m not talking about eating lots of healthy food either. I’m referring to salty and sweet treats like chips, donuts, and chocolate bars.

Well if you do, you’re definitely not alone. And while there are many reasons why this happens (e.g. having a small dinner the night before, a basic nutritional deficiency, etc.) there’s one you’re likely overlooking. What’s worse is that, it could be sabotaging your weight loss efforts and without you knowing it.

As it turns out, not getting enough shuteye the night before can cause you to binge. Now, we all know that lack of sleep leads to weight gain. And researchers recently demonstrated why: the cause being insulin resistance. But that experiment was conducted over several days. Furthermore, the subjects were not overeating.

This is different…

According to a new study that took place in Sweden’s Uppsala University, just one sleepless night is enough to cause binging. 16 men enrolled in the trial were asked to approximate breakfast serving sizes on two separate occasions. Once after sleeping for eight hours and again after pulling an all-nighter.

In the first scenario, they ate the right amount for their body size. However, in the second one, they not only had a bigger breakfast, but kept on snacking after finishing their meal.

Of course, this was somewhat predictable. After all, when you’re sleeping you burn fewer calories than when you’re awake. As such, you need to replace that additional lost energy by eating more.

But there’s something else to consider. When you’re tired, the high-calorie salty and sweet treats seem to have a stronger effect on your brain’s reward center. In other words, it finds them more pleasurable. Naturally, you seek them out to a greater extent.

So, if you’re having trouble controlling cravings throughout the day take inventory of your sleep patterns. If you’re not getting enough, this could be sabotaging your diet.

With that said, the quality of sleep matters just as much as the quantity. Yet another sleep study conducted at Ohio State University found that mice who slept with some kind of light in the background (e.g. from a TV) were much more likely to gain weight in contrast to the ones who slept in total darkness.

The take-away? Hit the hay early, turn off all distractions, and give your body what it needs. It’s the easiest way to make sure those pounds come off (and stay off). That, plus you’ll feel a whole heck of a lot better.

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